Eight people injured in natural gas explosion in NW Portland - KPTV - FOX 12

Eight people injured in natural gas explosion in NW Portland

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Scene of natural gas explosion in northwest Portland. (KPTV) Scene of natural gas explosion in northwest Portland. (KPTV)
Image from Air 12 over the scene of a natural gas explosion in northwest Portland. (KPTV) Image from Air 12 over the scene of a natural gas explosion in northwest Portland. (KPTV)
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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Eight people, including three firefighters and two police officers, were injured in a natural gas explosion in northwest Portland.

Firefighters said everyone survived the explosion.

Firefighters and NW Natural crews responded to Northwest 23rd Avenue and Glisan Street at around 9 a.m. Wednesday. The explosion occurred at 9:38 a.m.

A NW Natural spokesperson said a contractor hit a gas line, causing a leak.

After firefighters and NW Natural crews arrived at the scene and evacuated the building, the gas ignited and there was an explosion. A large cloud of smoke filled the air and could be seen for miles.

The incident was upgraded to four alarms to bring additional resources to the scene.

The cause of the ignition has not yet been determined.

Natural gas service was shut down to 115 customers in the area. Additional customers may be without service, as well, due to electricity being turned off. 

All structures within 300 feet were checked for the presence of natural gas. NW Natural crews also conducted a leak survey of the agency's underground facilities for a two-block radius. 

Representatives of Portland Bagelworks and Dosha Salon Spa said their businesses were destroyed in the explosion. The owner of the salon lives in an apartment above the shop and evacuated safely before the explosion. 

At least four patients were taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, according to Legacy Health, including two Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters and one Portland Police Bureau officer. Another firefighter was taken to Oregon Health & Science University for treatment.

Two firefighters suffered broken legs. 

Police said a second officer was taken to the hospital to be evaluated for injuries described as non-life threatening. 

The Metropolitan Learning Center, which is run by Portland Public Schools, was evacuated after the explosion. The students were taken to the district's headquarters at 501 N. Dixon Street and parents were advised they could pick up their children at any time. 

A Portland Public Schools spokesperson said some students complained of feeling sick at nearby Chapman Elementary School, but that school was not evacuated. The sick students were treated at the school.

The American Red Cross opened a reception center for people affected by the explosion at Congregation Beth Israel, 1972 N.W. Flanders St. Water, food and shelter assistance information will be available. The Red Cross is also providing food and water to emergency crews at the scene of the explosion. 

NW Natural said as of 7:10 p.m., the area has been made safe and they have emergency response personnel monitoring the situation. Emergency response personnel will also continue to monitor throughout the night.

Anyone who smells natural gas or a rotten egg odor, or hears a hissing sound, is advised to call the NW Natural emergency line at 800-882-3377. 

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